‘Peace and healing’ event planned Sunday
IF YOU GO
What: A Time of Peace and Healing
When: 4:30-6:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 11.
Where: Peace Park, Rockport Road, Janesville.
Why: To remember events of 9/11 and to look forward.
Details: All are welcome. Bring lawn chairs and dish to pass. For more information on the Diversity Action Team, visit datrockco.org.
JANESVILLE The Diversity Action Team of Rock County will remember the events of 9/11 during “A Time of Peace and Healing” on Sunday, Sept. 11, at Janesville’s Peace Park.
Organizer Michael Coogan said faith and community leaders and members of the public are invited.
“We will sincerely honor the lives that were lost,” Coogan said. “One way to do that is with an interfaith prayer service. We have invited Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other faith leaders to see what we can share together.”
The event includes a discussion of how the community can advance together with diversity.
“What is it that we need to go forward in a healthy way from this terrible thing that was done to us?” Coogan asks. “I don’t have an answer. But I trust in the goodness of people coming together.”
In addition, the event features Native American drumming and a re-dedication of the peace pole with the word “peace” in different languages on the pole.
Coogan, a longtime emergency room doctor, admires firefighters and paramedics.
“They walk into danger when so many run away,” he said. “It moves me to see how they serve. We won’t forget the innocent people who were attacked. But it is also important to honor police, fire and public officials who sacrificed themselves.”
Coogan has been key in organizing Janesville events to understand Islam. One of the issues since 9/11 has been mistrust of Muslims, Coogan said.
“They have been vilified unfairly because of what a few extremists from their community did,” he said. “It makes me sad that the actions of a few people can make so many others suspicious of each other.”
Coogan hopes the 9/11 gathering can be the first of an annual event to celebrate the International Day of Peace.
The Diversity Action Team works to eliminate racism and discrimination in Rock County. Since it began more than a decade ago, the volunteer group has attempted to bridge racial and ethnic divides by bringing together people of all backgrounds and offering learning events.